All I Want For Myself

Over the past few months I’ve found myself reading biographies on people that lived well before modern times. One of the things that struck me as particularly interesting was the way writers went about gathering information on their subjects. There were no TV interviews to watch, no documents left behind on the internet, and no living relatives to interview. The best way to learn about the subjects was through the letters they left behind.

Because fame is right around the corner for me and biographies on my life will be in great demand 100 years from now, I thought that leaving behind a trail of letters (digital though they may be) sounded like a great idea. In my opinion, letters are the most illuminating form of communication we have and the idea of experimenting with that was too intriguing to pass over. My younger sister, Lauren, will be participating in an ongoing letter share with me. Where it goes and what we learn about one another I have no idea. Follow along and find out with us.

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Gug ( I just may refer to you that from now on cause I love that Nolan is comfortable enough to just call you Uncle Gug),

Call me crazy but I’ve never seen the original Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! Gasp! I’ve seen bits and pieces but never the entire thing. I’m sure Jonathan is hanging his head in embarrassment as it’s one of his all-time favorite movies. I liked the Johnny Depp version but even with that, it’s not a movie that I have to go back to watch over and over again.

So you asked me if I were to die before my time would I feel that I’ve left things undone. And I thought about it all weekend which in turn made me think of mom. I wonder what she wanted for herself that she never got. When I hear stories of mom now there is always an underlying factor in every story and that was mom’s goodness. When we were growing up, mom let us be friends with whoever we wanted to be friends with. It didn’t matter what their parents did for a living, where they lived in town, what kind of car they drove, etc. She wanted us to be friends with good people. Plain and Simple. So when we had plans with our friends or you had out of town basketball games, it was nothing for mom and dad to drive all over Uniontown to pick up other kids to take them with us. I loved that as a kid. We packed the mini-van and off we went. To us, we were just giving other kids a ride and we got to have fun with them in the process. But to them, that ride was so much more than that. You didn’t leave moms presence without feeling all loved up  — a full belly and a full heart. Those kids would’ve missed out on a basketball game without our parents giving them a ride but they also would’ve missed out on being loved for the 2 or 3 hours we were together. They would’ve missed out on laughs and smiles and memories and life lessons that still guide me today. And I hope that mom died knowing in her heart that what she did for us and for our friends was more than enough.

And that’s all I want for myself. Sure, I’d love to travel and do things I’ve never done before. Sometimes I wish Jonathan and I took some more time for ourselves before we decided to become parents but there was nothing I wanted more than to be a mom. I’m growing up with my kiddos and with the way Emma talks, we’re going to be doing a lot of traveling when she gets older. She’s already got big plans for Paris as her graduation gift.

I know that I can’t change this world alone but I do have the ability to change and shape the world of some little people around me. I hope that when Emma and Nolan’s friends leave our house, they leave with a little more love in their hearts than when they walked in the door. My friends too. I hope they know how much I enjoy their company. Mom only got to love me up for 14 years and still, almost 18 years later, I can feel it. Imagine what I can do if I have more time that she did. And if I don’t have that much time, I hope that when Emma and Nolan talk about me, they remember me the way we remember mom. For her goodness and her love. That’ll be enough for me.

Xoxo,

Lauren

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